Evans, Bennett push for hybrid rugby - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Evans, Bennett push for hybrid rugby

25/03/2008 11:30:32 PM Comments (0)

Former Wallabies assistant coach Alex Evans and Brisbane Broncos mentor Wayne Bennett are pushing a proposal to create a hybrid game to introduce schoolchildren to the common basics of the two sports.

The Australian newspaper reports that officials of both rugby codes have given "tentative backing" to the proposal.

Evans first raised the idea with Bennett three years ago.

"It's Alex's idea but I support it," former Australian rugby league Test coach Bennett told the newspaper.

"it gives kids opportunities. It's such a big career if you've got ability and one game might not suit you but the other game might.

"You've got a lot of similarities between the two codes. At school level we should look at introducing a hybrid game that would give kids the opportunity to make choices about what code they want to play.

"The last time he brought it up, I said why don't you talk to your administrators and I'll talk to ours and see if they want to come together to have a yarn about it."

Evans is hoping to make a pitch to Australian Rugby Union boss John O'Neill this week, the newspaper says.

Queensland Rugby Union chairman Peter Lewis is backing the Evans-Bennett plan.

O'Neill was not available for comment but National Rugby League chief David Gallop said the NRL would keep an "open mind".

Australian rugby league is celebrating 100 years since splitting with rugby union and Gallop says talk of the two codes reunifying is "a fair way off".

But Lewis says the hybrid game might bring the two codes together.

"I've always said the smartest thing rugby could do is merge with rugby league," Lewis told the newspaper.

"League is big in Australia but it's going nowhere in the rest of the world whereas the biggest advantage rugby has is that it's an international game."

Bennett agreed the new sport would avoid the duplication of effort that goes into primary schools by development officers from both codes, the newspaper said.

Evans said the two codes should "throw jealousy out the window".

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